An alcoholic can lose his family, friends, job, and the respect of others. Alcoholism is a devastating disease that controls the lives of many people. But certain alcoholics go through the same struggle with their addiction rather than hide. These people spend time with their families, keep their job, and perform everyday activities, and they are known as “functioning alcoholics.”

But an alcoholic who can function as a normal person doesn’t mean there’s no problem. On the contrary, alcoholism is a terrible disease that can end up fatal.

If you doubt whether your close friend or a family member has problems with drinking, read the following 8 signs of a functioning alcoholic and you will be able to see if you’re right.

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 1. Replacing Food with Alcohol

These people often replace their meals with alcohol. Some use the meal periods as an excuse to start drinking, while others might completely lose interest in food.

2. Rare Hangovers

Regular consumption of alcohol for a longer period causes alcohol dependence. The alcohol in the blood of alcoholics never has a chance to leave their system, so alcoholics always have alcohol in their blood. Therefore, high-functioning alcoholics can often drink a lot, without getting a hangover.

3. Irritability When They Can’t Drink

An alcoholic who doesn’t have alcohol or can’t drink for some reason becomes nervous, irritable, uncomfortable, and moody. This is because their body has become dependent on the sedative effects provided by the alcohol, so it reacts negatively. When an alcoholic suddenly stops consuming alcohol, he experiences sweating, shaking, anxiety, and a rapid heart rate.

4. They Can’t Stop at the 1st or the 2nd Drink

While the majority have a glass of wine or several Ashwood Recovery at a family gathering or grilling, an alcoholic will drink far more than 1 or 2 drinks. She/he won’t stop here and she/he will always have a “reason” for one more.

5. Memory Loss

Most functioning alcoholics experience memory loss without others noticing. They might end up with no memory of what has happened at a party, bar, or any event where they have drunk.

6. Denial of Having a Problem

Most alcoholics refuse to engage in conversations where they are confronted with concerns or questions about their drinking. In such situations, they become angry and deny having a drinking problem.

7. Always with an Excuse

A lot of alcoholics will almost always try to give you a reason for their drinking. That might be stress from work, a long week, or just hanging out with their friends.

8. Hiding Their Alcohol

These people often drink alone and they don’t think there’s any problem with that. Alcoholics can hide their drinks at their desks at work, in their cars, etc. This is actually a big sign of functioning alcoholism. They try to hide the fact that they drink far more than others think.

Consult a trusted healthcare professional or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline if you or someone close to you have problems with alcohol.

Via David Wolfe | Mind Body Green